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Nigerian Breweries Company Increases Prices Of Beer Over Rising Costs Of Importation

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The Nigerian Breweries Plc has increased the price for its Stock-Keeping Units (STUs) over the rising costs of importation.

This was stated in a letter dated February 12 titled: “Price review notification,” by the Zonal Business Manager (West), Lekan Awosanya, saying the price effect would commence on February 19th, 2024.

The letter reads in part, “This is to inform you that we are constrained to review the prices of some of our SKUs effective from Monday, 19th February 2024. This review has become necessary because of the continued rising input cost and the need to mitigate the impact

“In appreciation of our great partnership and your commitment, we will deliver at the current prices all open orders that are fully funded and created in our system before 00.00hrs on Monday, 19th February 2024.

“While thanking you for your commitment to our great partnership, be rest assured that we will continue to support your sales/distribution efforts as always. For further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact your Regional Business Manager.”

This is the second time Nigerian Breweries Plc would be review its price for its Stock-Keeping Units within the period of six months.

The last one was in August 2023 when the company said there was a need to review prices because of several factors that have bedevilled the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry.

This latest development in the beverage market is likely to affect consumer purchasing decision who might be forced to cut back on their beer consumption or seek more affordable alternatives.

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Elon Musk threatens to ban Apple products over Open AI integration

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Billionaire entrepreneur, Elon Musk said on Monday that if Apple integrates OpenAI into its operating system, he will prohibit the use of Apple products across his companies.

Musk, who owns Tesla and other ventures, declared that anyone visiting his companies would be required to store their Apple devices in a Faraday cage, effectively blocking electromagnetic transmissions.

Musk’s statement comes as Apple announced its partnership with OpenAI, which includes the integration of ChatGPT powered by GPT-4 into some of its software, including the new and improved Siri.

“If Apple integrates OpenAI at the OS level, then Apple devices will be banned at my companies,” Musk wrote. “That is an unacceptable security violation,” the rocket maker’s owner, SpaceX, said on X (formerly Twitter).

Earlier on Monday at its Worldwide Developers’ Conference, Apple revealed that it will incorporate its new AI software, Apple Intelligence, into the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

It also announced a collaboration with OpenAI to integrate ChatGPT, powered by GPT-4o, into some of its applications, including the upgraded Siri.

According to Apple, the ChatGPT integration will be accessible for free without an account in iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia later this year.

Apple said, “When a user grants permission, Siri can tap into ChatGPT’s broad world knowledge and present an answer directly.”

The billionaire denounced the partnership, saying he is concerned about the iPhone maker partnering with a third-party AI that it “doesn’t understand” and “can’t themselves create.”

“It’s patently absurd that Apple isn’t smart enough to make their own AI, yet is somehow capable of ensuring that OpenAI will protect your security and privacy,” Musk further tweeted.

In early March, Musk filed a lawsuit against OpenAI, a company he co-founded in 2015, and its CEO, Sam Altman, alleging that they had strayed from the original mission of developing AI for the benefit of humanity rather than for profit.

Musk has also launched his startup, xAI, aiming to rival OpenAI and create an alternative to the popular chatbot.

Last month, The PUNCH reported that xAI secured $6bn in a Series B funding round, with backing from investors such as Valor Equity Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, and Sequoia Capital, among others.

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NNPCL denies N3.3trn inflated fuel subsidy allegation

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, NNPCL, has debunked allegations that it inflated subsidy claims by N3.3 trillion.

NNPLC spokesperson Olufemi Soneye disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

This comes amid an allegation that a forensic audit by KPMG, a global accounting firm, has uncovered an N3.3 trillion discrepancy in the fuel subsidy claims made by NNPCL during former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

However, Soneye said all previous subsidy claims are verifiable, and NNPCL never inflated subsidy claims to the federal government.

He explained that it is not aware of any audit, as alleged by media reports and that the company will not be drawn into the politics of fuel subsidy as it currently operates as a commercial entity under the Petroleum Industry Act 2021.

Soneye said in the statement: “NNPC Ltd. conducts its businesses accountably and transparently in keeping with international best practices and has, at no time, inflated its subsidy claims with the Federal Government. All previous subsidy claims by the company are verifiable, as relevant records and documents have been sent to relevant authorities and agencies.

“NNPC Ltd. is neither aware of any audit of its subsidy claims nor the probe ensuing therefrom and wishes to state categorically that both ridiculous claims are products of the febrile imagination of the reporters and their respective media houses.”

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Currency outside banks declined to N3.61tn in April

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Latest data from the Central Bank of Nigeria has indicated that currency outside of bank vaults declined by 0.62 per cent to N3.61tn in April from N3.63tn in the previous month.

This bucks the pattern of steady increase observed since the beginning of the year.

Despite the decline, over 90 per cent of the currency in circulation was still outside bank vaults.

As of April, the currency in circulation stood at N3.92tn, higher than N3.87tn in March.

The currency in circulation has been increasing month-on-month despite the CBN monetary policy tightening, which has seen the benchmark interest rate set at 26.65 per cent.

Also, the latest money and credit statistics data from the CBN showed that Nigeria’s money supply rose to a historic high of N96.97tn in April 2024, reflecting year-on-year growth of 73 per cent from N56.05tn in the same period of the previous year.

On a month-on-month basis, it was a five per cent increase from the previous decline recorded in March at N92.33tn.

This growth comes in the face of the Monetary Policy Committee’s hawkish stance aimed at controlling inflation.

In their statements, one of the members of the Monetary Policy Committee of the CBN at the March meeting, Muhammad Abdullahi, posited that the apex bank had identified high currency outside banks as one of the monetary drivers of the country’s inflation.

He said, “From available data, prices of domestic food items remain the major driver of headline inflation because of supply shortages and high cost of logistics and distribution.

“While this cannot be directly influenced using monetary policy tools, the bank’s response to the drivers of headline inflation is targeted at addressing identified monetary drivers such as money supply growth, exchange rate depreciation and Currency-Outside-Banks, the combined impact of which will dampen inflationary pressure significantly.”

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